Arizona is expecting the first ever shortage on the Colorado River.

But shortage on the Colorado River does not mean a shortage at your tap.

Aerial View of Curved River

Each month, the Bureau of Reclamation produces their Operation Plan for the Colorado River System Reservoirs (24-Month Study).  The soon to be released August 24-Month Study will determine if the Secretary of the Interior will declare an official Tier 1 shortage. Modelling indicates that a Tier 1 shortage is highly likely for 2022. If a Tier 1 shortage is declared, it will result in a substantial cut to the users of the Colorado River, including Arizona’s share of the Colorado River starting in January 2022.

However, the cut will largely impact central Arizona agricultural users NOT municipalities. Global Water Resources does not rely on Colorado River water and will not be impacted by the shortage. 

The drinking water you receive from Global Water is sourced from underground aquifers. You can learn more about your local water supply here.


The Central Arizona Project (CAP) is a 336-mile system that brings Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona. The image above comes from the Central Arizona Project's Colorado River Shortage Fact sheet. It shows the CAP shortage triggers, the reduction in water supply based on those triggers, and impacts of a Tier 1 shortage for different CAP water users. 


Access to Colorado River water is shared between 7 states and Mexico.

Compacts, treaties, court cases, and other agreements (known collectively as the Law of the River) govern the way the Colorado River is shared and used.



Arizona has known for many years that a shortage could occur on the Colorado River. To prepare, water utilities have invested in infrastructure, water supplies, underground water storage, and conservation programs. As a result of our collective good habits, the state’s policy on how growth can occur, and planning we have been able to ensure water resources will be available for at least the next 100 years.

Global Water Resources has been committed to using water wisely since our creation. We use Total Water Management to ensure a sustainable future. We manage the entire water cycle, conserving water by using the right water for the right use.


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We live in the desert and understand the value of water. Water conservation helps to support our way of life in the desert.

Arizonans’ commitment to conservation and using water wisely has helped us to avoid drastic water saving measures like water restrictions during this time of prolonged drought.

Together we can ensure a sustainable future for Arizona by continuing our efforts to conserve and use water wisely.

Visit our conservation and education page to learn more about ways you can conserve inside and outside your home.


Global Water Resources wants to help you stay informed. You can sign up for our new water resources and conservation e-newsletter here.